Barge is unsafe, deckhand claims in suit

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 26, 2006, 9:46am

Barge deckhand James Boozer filed a Jones Act suit against the American River Transportation Company in St. Clair County Circuit Court June 19 for an arm, pelvis and heel injury he sustained Dec. 8, 2005 aboard the MV Starfire.

Boozer, represented by Marc W. Parker of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, is seeking in excess of $100,000 in damages, plus costs, prejudgment interest and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

The complaint alleges the defendant failed to provide Boozer a safe place to work and failed to warn him of the dangers in his work area. The barge operates on the Illinois River.

He also claims the barge operator did not provide him adequate maintenance for the cure of his injuries and is seeking reimbursement of medical expenses.

Boozer claims the defendant's negligence has caused him to suffer extensive injuries and pain, lost wages and permanent disfigurement.

The three-count lawsuit also claims the river barge is unseaworthy.

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